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School Based Occupational Therapy

Schools provide occupational therapy when a child with a disability requires this related service to assist the child to benefit from special education. Occupational therapists use purposeful activity to facilitate a child's active participation in self-maintenance; academic and vocational pursuits; and play or leisure activities that occur in school environments. Using direct and indirect services, as well as assistive technology and environmental modifications, school occupational therapists collaborate with parents, teachers and other educational staff to help implement a child's special education program. For information about occupational therapy in Wisconsin Administrative Code, please see chapters PI 11.24 and OT 1 through 5.

Approximately 400 occupational therapists and 100 occupational therapy assistants are employed in Wisconsin public schools. These occupational therapists serve almost 10,000 children from the ages of 3 to 21.

For employment opportunities in school occupational therapy, please search the Jobs page.

License application for a school occupational therapist or school occupational therapy assistant.

Evidence-Based Practice

Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy: A Resource and Planning Guide

OT and PT Resource and Planning Guide, 2nd Edition (6/2011).
This publication will help school staff and parents better understand the key roles occupational therapists and physical therapists play in the lives of children who need their services to benefit from their education. Their work supports our shared goal that every child will graduate with the knowledge and skills needed to be successful in the workforce and/or higher education.

Information Resources